Friday, January 11, 2019

Temperature Quilt

Moving right along, I'm starting a new quilt. Though this one is really different from any I've made before. Have you heard of temperature quilts? They've been around for at least three years, and temperature versions can be crocheted or knitted or embroidered as well. After seeing a whole bunch of quilts crop up on Instagram (see #temperaturequilt) I decided to join in.

Basically what you're making is a quilt that's assembled with 365 two-color patches that represent daily - for one year - high and low temperatures of some location. Not surprisingly, I am making a 2019 quilt using temperatures from The Villages.

To make your own quilt you first need to find historic weather data on the place you choose, to learn what the high and low temperatures have been. Where I live, the range is about 60 degrees (92 to 32). You can usually find this sort of data on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website, but due to the federal government shutdown, the website isn't operational. 

Based on the range, temperatures are broken into units of five or four or three degree increments. Then, select 18 to 22 different fabrics that may be solids or prints, and assigned a fabric to each increment. In my case, I am going with three degree temperature increments, assigning 20 solids (one is missing because I need to order it) to them. 

Using my iPhone and the Wunderground app, each day I've been tracking local weather high and local temperatures. I'm recording that info on an Excel spreadsheet I created on my iPhone as reference for block-making later. 

The two-color block I chose is a sort of Drunkard's Path made with the Classic Curve Ruler. Convex curves are the high temperatures and concave curves are the low. I'll assemble these four-inch blocks in vertical columns, and turn the block up or down according to whether the high temperature is higher or lower than the previous day. 
The vertical columns make photos challenging! 

When I've made 21 patches, I'll start another column... until I have 18 columns to make a total of 378 patches. Yes, that's too many than the 365 days of the year, but if I make month markers for 12 months, I'll have only one block extra to make of something - maybe the color key for the quilt. No doubt this will evolve as I go along, but right now the quilt will turn out at around 72" X 84".

It's been fun to see what other blocks quilters are making - flying geese, half-square triangles, improv rectangles, circles appliquéd on a square, English paper-pieced hexagons, and so on. Every quilt is different of course, so the outcome is a surprise. 

I decided I wanted to be sure to include the 2019 Kaufman Kona Color of The Year (COTY) in my temperature quilt, so I bought some - Yes! This was the first time I've bought fabric since last May! Kona's COTY is "Splash," as seen on the right. It's too perfect for a Floridian, isn't it. 
Painter's Palette Solids color card next to Kona Splash
Please note that if you buy Splash (or any Kona for that matter), be sure to prewash it! It bleeds. I washed Splash yardage with a color catcher that was distinctly aqua when it came out of the washing machine.

My favorite brand of solid fabrics is Painter's Palette, but unfortunately there's no color that's close to Splash. Hence the reason I purchased several yards. 

I'm looking forward to making this quilt through 2019, though perhaps by August or so I'll be sick of it, especially when the daily temperatures aren't varying. Maybe monotonous? 

If you'd like more information about making a temperature quilt, visit Anina's blog - TwiddleTails. Anina, who lives in Des Moines, Iowa (!), is leading a temperature quilt-along, and has lots of helpful information on her blog. It's certainly not too late to get started!

It feels good to be working on something new and fun! Linda


  1. I love seeing these temp quilts evolve! Good luck with yours!

  2. Wow Linda, what a project to take on! Good luck and I look forward to seeing what you come up with. :-)

  3. Thanks for all the information about making a temperature quilt. I don't have any intention on doing it, but occasionally the discussion comes up in one of my facebook groups. Now I know where to direct them - here and to Anina! Yours is going to be epic!

  4. With your Florida temps, I'm guessing we'll see a lot reds. Looking forward to seeing your 2019 unfold.

  5. This has only just come up on my radar but as a crochet blanket. Never thought of it in a quilt! Brilliant!

  6. I've enjoyed seeing the variations in all the temperature quilts on IG but I don't think I've seen one with a drunkard's path block yet. Thanks for the reminder about prewashing Kona. As you have seen on IG, I'm about to start a color study quilt using Kona. Must remember to prewash first. Any suggestions on whether once is enough? I'll be using a light colored background.

  7. What a clever concept. I think my quilt would be all blues for our cool temperatures. It's meant to be summer but it's only 13C = 55F right now at 9am. Thank you for linking up to the Peacock Party.

  8. I have seen Amy's (A Redeemed Sheep) and hers is sensational
    This would be a blast to make.
    Maybe one day, accuweather is a good source haha
    Happy Sunday

  9. I am always amazed at how much you accomplish. Can you share your recipe so I can make a batch?

  10. Fun to see this blog post, although it's taken me a while to comment. I'm so tempted by the temperature quilts, I see, too. I like your curves idea and that will provide some great design optics as you compile your days.

  11. I won't be making one but it will be fun to watch yours evolve. I love your bright color palette.



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